Herbicide Update for Growers

Abbey Taylor Produce, Research, Top Posts

By Alison DeLoach

Rely, an herbicide used as an alternative to glyphosate, has recently been transferred from Bayer to BASF. This transfer of rights has raised questions for growers about whether BASF will support use of the herbicide. Stanley Culpepper, a weed scientist with the University of Georgia, shared his thoughts on Rely. 

Bayer, the previous manufacturer and marketer of Rely, played a large role in working through Inter-Regional Research Project Number Four (IR-4). “IR-4 helps those of us in the specialty crop world get various pesticides labeled,” Culpepper explained.

Culpepper refers to gluphosinate, the active ingredient in Rely, as a “new class of chemistry for our growers that we desperately need.” Growers need BASF to support the movement of this herbicide through IR-4 and eventually into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for labeling, he says.

Culpepper believes Rely can be a helpful tool for growers as it is very effective on morning glory and other weed species. He urges growers to contact their local BASF representative and ask for support in getting this herbicide to the farm. 

While Rely is not yet labeled, Chateau herbicide is now labeled for use on broccoli and cauliflower in raised bed plasticulture. “It’s very, very important with this herbicide that you do your homework,” warns Culpepper. “You have to follow seven or eight restrictions, or it can be detrimental to your crop.” He notes that Chateau is applied between the rows of crops, not on the plastic.

According to Culpepper, Chateau is one of the best herbicides to use for row middle weed control and keeping weeds from going to seed. “So, this is a tool that could have a tremendous impact on the overall management of the weed seed bank, which improves fumigation. It improves other herbicides; it improves weed control in every crop,” Culpepper said.

An important factor to keep in mind with Chateau, says Culpepper, is the fact that it is an indemnified or third-party label. What this means is that growers must sign documents stating that they accept the liability of using this product. 

Culpepper also touched on some potential new labels that look promising for this year and next year. Currently, he is optimistic that Reflex will get labeling for sweet potato and eggplant.

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